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Riveting mystery and nonstop adventure. (School Library Journal)
I was in a black mood when I left the store that afternoon, angry at Marina and sore from unloading stock all day. If I'd been smart, I would have headed straight back to my house and stayed put. But my mother was there, waiting like a broody hen, ready to ask how my day had gone.
I wheeled my bike into the street and pedalled away, feeling his cool gaze on my back.
A group of younger boys was in the field beyond the school whacking a baseball around and whooping it up. They'd been in the store buying sodas earlier, where they'd been warned to keep their voices down and wait their turn at the counter. I knew every one of them by name, such is the closeness of a small town, and now, hearing the crack of the ball on the bat, and their shouts, a darker feeling swept over me.
I was trapped in this place. While Marina visited Harveston and Boston, meeting up with the world, I hauled pickle barrels in Riley's back room, where not even my father looked in on me anymore. He'd given up trying to make me into something he could like.
I set out toward the back country, down a road I'd seldom biked which wound away from the sea, past rocky farmland and shrub-clogged forests. The November daylight began to fade and still I went on, furiously at times, suddenly in a rage that even one-eyed Tom Morrison was no longer specially mine. He was Billy Brady's friend, and Billy's father's before that. The free life he led came out of weakness and retreat, not anything strong he could pass on to me. He was as likely as anyone to bend before the wind.
I rode on through the darkening landscape. Over an hour passed before I thought of going back. My legs had begun to ache. The sun was down by then, and the road dim. An eerie silence rose on all sides and I was suddenly aware that I was far, far out in the country. I was turning to head home when the sound of tires came from the bend ahead. I flicked on my bicycle lamp and drew to the side.
The vehicle, driving without headlights, rode toward me with a ghostly quiet. As it passed, I recognized the whir of a muffled engine and glanced back over my shoulder. It was a Ford coup, one tail-light out.
The vehicle braked, stopped, and began to reverse direction. A moment later the car came up in back of me and I squeezed over a second time to let it by. But it hung back and, little by little, moved up closer until I felt the heat of the motor on my legs.
"Come ahead!" I yelled, gesturing for the driver to go past. He would not. When I looked back to see what the trouble was, a face pushed up close to the windshield and broke into a toothy grin.
Fear spiked through me. Even so, I couldn't believe that anyone could mean me harm. A game is what I thought, and for another hundred yards, I played my part by riding as far to the left-hand side as possible without going in the woods. Finally, with a roar, the big roadster pulled out to pass and I thought I'd be left in peace. But that was not to be. With stealthy calm, the vehicle moved up until the broad side windows were abreast of me. Out of the corner of one eye, I saw faces through the glass.
"Hey! Give me some room!" I called out.
There was no response, and in the next second I saw that I wasn't to be allowed even my slim edge of road. The side of the car moved closer until, with a last impatient swerve, it struck me. I lost my balance and went flying into the woods where a darkness darker than night dropped over me.
Posted September 24, 2014
Posted September 24, 2014
Posted March 3, 2013
Black Duck, It is truely a astounding novel writen for the minds of young readers so they might catch a glimps of true american enjinuity. Stariong Ruben and Jeddy, the two best friends are walking on the beach to "find" crab traps and return them to their owners so they can make a quick 15 cents, thats what kids in their spare time did. Janet Taylor Lisle set the perfect seen of the prohibition of liquir in 1929 in her work to. She showed the danger, risk, and adventure that occours once in a life time. In combinating with this Janet aslo sent a good example of what can happen when friends start to fight, it never ends well and it doesnt help to have money of vast proportions be the sparek to the fight.
Posted November 10, 2010
Posted October 18, 2010
Posted May 11, 2010
this is one of the best books in all time. very mistious, janet taylor lisle is a great author, i enjoyed this book and i fully recommend you to read it if you like misteries and actions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I am sad to say that before I read this book, I had no knowledge of the Prohibition at all. Other readers may enjoy this book the same way I did just because they learn something new while being taken back in time almost 100 years. The way the author wrote the chapters with alternating past to present prospectives keeps the reader wanting to read on. And the cliff-hangers leave the reader on the edge of their seats until the end of the ride. Most kids around my age never knew that at one point in time, alcohol was BANNED. Not limited. BANNED! Just the fact that at one time people illegally smuggled in liquor from international waters is interesting. A rum-running story is just naturally exciting. Who wouldn't be interested in high-speed chases and gangs? It's just this kind of adventure that makes reading fun. I'm pretty sure even an adult could learn something and enjoy this book as well. I could just go on and on about this book. It's amazing and I have nothing but praise for it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The main character is a young boy named Ruben Hart. He is about 15 years old.He is involved in the rum runing bisness.<BR/> The plot is that there is alot of problems with rum runing.Ruben is trying to get out of it but he cant.one day Ruben and his friend Jeddy wore walking on the beach and they found a dead body on the beach.when some rum runers that want the money for a big delivery find that the ticket is not with the body they loke for it.The only one how they think could have it is a old man with one eye but he did not have so the chase was on.<BR/> It takes plase in 1929 it is a true story.<BR/> I think the meneing of the story is to infourm and intertan.<BR/> I love this story because it cepes you on the end of your seat and it is full of information about history.<BR/> I can connect my self to the story because my life is full of action and I can connect it to world because the world is full of drugs and crime.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2008
I love this book so much,I think it's horrible that Ruben and Jeddy's friendship ended so easily.I think it's also sad that Jeddy dies at the end of the book,along with the crew(except for one man)of the Black Duck. I find it hard to explain how much I just love this book!I hope to reccomend this to many of my friends who are interested in a book about the history of rum-running.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
David's dream is to become a reporter. His father wants him to help run the family landscaping business. <BR/><BR/>David's dream leads him to a man, Ruban, with possible connections to the Black Duck, the famous rum-running boat during the prohibition in Rhode Island. <BR/><BR/>David tells Ruban that he's a senior in high school and might get published in the local newspaper. In reality, David is just starting his freshman year. Ruban reluctantly tells David some facts about the town during the time period, starting with the day that he and his best friend, Jeddy, found a dead body on the beach. When they went to alert the authorities, the body disappeared and the boys were warned not to talk about it. <BR/><BR/>Over the course of several visits, Ruban tells more of the story to David. Ruban's initial curiosity led him down a different path than Jeddy, as he wanted to know more about the body, more about the rum-runners, and even wanted to lend a hand. Soon he and Jeddy were at odds over the rum business. What started as an innocent curiosity led Ruban into danger that neither boy could have imagined. <BR/><BR/>The BLACK DUCK blends worlds with the interruptions between David's questions and Ruban's story. While Jeddy and Ruban had an amazing story, Ruban feels that the whole story isn't his to tell and that Jeddy owns a piece of it. However, with Jeddy dying, Ruban clears his mind of guilt and finishes the tale. <BR/><BR/>The BLACK DUCK is a unique historical fiction novel that will engage readers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
black duck is a very good read if you are about 13 and up it is very suspensfull and there are so many twists and turns you wont believe it.<BR/>if you like action/mystery books this is probably a good read for you. i loved it because it is very life like (based on a true story) and it involves people like normal parents that are in the buisness. ruben is one of the main charecters in the story and when he finds out that his dad is part of the buisness too he looses all control and respect for others. He and his two friends must get out of the hole they have dug before they get in too deep. this is a life lesson book for those who like it. READ THIS BOOK IT WILL SHOCK YOU AND YOU WILL READ IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER. i did. Over the course of several visits, Ruban tells more of the story to David. Ruban's initial curiosity led him down a different path than Jeddy, as he wanted to know more about the body, more about the rum-runners, and even wanted to lend a hand. Soon he and Jeddy were at odds over the rum business. What started as an innocent curiosity led Ruban into danger that neither boy could have imagined. <BR/>the body they found was ontthe beach with no sign of anyone coming or going.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2008
Black Duck is an excellent book for the classroom, especially for some of the more disinterested male students. It tells an interesting story full of mystery, danger, and historical references. Due to the historical nature of the book it can be used in connection with a social studies unit discussion on the time of prohibition. What I particularly like about it though is how it can be used to discuss interview skills and how to write an article. The story is told in flashbacks as a young boy interviews a man who lived through the time and was heavily involved in bootlegging. My male students have found the book particularly intriguing due to the slightly dark nature (due to the crime involved) and the action scenes. The author does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and weaving a web of secrecy that blankets the world of bootlegging. Everyone knew it was going on, but nobody was sure who was really involved, making everyone a suspect in the small town.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 25, 2008
I hate saying this, but this is the first historical fiction text that I have EVER read. If all historical fiction is this wonderful, I'M HOOKED. It has action and characters that you wish you could really meet. If you like a good book, grab this one off the shelf.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2008
Black Duck is an exceptionally well written historical fiction novel. The author has a way of incorporating mystery, suspense, and secrets to keep the reader from wanting to put the book down. Two boys¿, Ruben and Jeddy, lives are drastically altered the moment they find a washed up body on the beach during the 1929 Prohibition era. The beaches near their town are turning into smuggling centers for various rum-runners, including the infamous Black Duck, a boat known for successfully eluding the Coast Guard on numerous occasions. This is a great book to hook children into historical fiction books!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2008
The Black Duck paints a strong painting of the prohibition law back in American history. The book shows excellent emotions and feelings in the characters, great transitions from interviews to chapters, and a melancholy yet excellent ending. My favorite part of the book was the author's notes that I truly relished. The only reason why I did not give this book five stars is because I, in my opinion, thought it was lacking some important visual details of the characters and the rum running ships in the novel. But other than that great job Lisle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2007
The book the Black Duck is a book by Janet Taylor Lisle and it is a historical fiction book. Black Duck was an amazing book from beginning to end. The storyline about the prohibition laws and rum running made the book really suspenseful and a page turner. It took place in present day Rhode Island. But when the main character begins to tell his story it goes to the past in the early 1900¿s in Rhode Island as well. The major conflict in this book would have to be that the main character Ruben Hart and his friend Jeddy McKenzie find a body on the shore. They see that he has been shot and they also see a bootlegger¿s case a couple of feet away from the body. They have the suspicion that he is involved in the rum running. So they set off to figure out the mystery of the dead body. While they are trying to figure out the mystery they encounter many people and see a lot of things. One night when Jeddy was on his bike delivering some medicine he sees a famous rum running boat named the Black Duck. After that they decide to go to an old fisherman¿s house is name was Thomas. He had a belonging of the body in his possession and he tells them what he knows to help them out with the mystery. Then two big men go to old Tom¿s house and search it for a wallet and the watch he had in his possession. They ruined his little house and then one of the men trip on his dog named Viola and fires his machine gun at the dog. There are parts in the book where the author writes in third person view but then when they go to the past, the main character Ruben Hart narrates the story (first person). I would recommend this book Black Duck to anyone who likes history. The book is full o suspense and you wont be able to put the book down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of suspense, and kept me standing on my toes. This book is for anyone who loves historical fiction books, and for anyone who loves books with a ton of action in it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2009
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Posted June 28, 2009
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